NWA Quality Analyst FAQ

Operating the Software

Is NWA Quality Analyst easy to use?

Operating NWA Quality Analyst is a simple, straightforward process using its familiar, spreadsheet-like user interface. Columns contain descriptive, measurement, and defect data; each row is a sample. To create an SQC chart, you simply click on the desired data column and select a chart type from the
toolbar or menu.

Charts are displayed in a clear, easy-to-interpret format. Each chart is presented in a separate window so you can view multiple charts on the same screen. This simplifies comparing different processes or different aspects of the same process.

You can layout a page for screen display and printing by dragging and dropping each chart to the desired location in the window or page. You can specify the colors, typefaces, and line thicknesses for several types of chart labels and elements.

Is NWA Quality Analyst easy to set up to meet my particular needs?

Though Quality Analyst’s default settings are those most commonly accepted in industry, you can configure virtually every aspect of charting and analysis in Quality Analyst. Logically arranged, easy-to-understand tabbed dialog boxes let you specify preferred settings without “manual” editing.

I use my spreadsheet to produce X-bar-R and Process Capability charts. Why should I change to NWA Quality Analyst?

Producing charts with NWA Quality Analyst is superior for many reasons. First, NWA Quality Analyst creates all charts with rigorous accuracy. NWA Quality Analyst was designed specifically for the creation of SPC charts. Its statistical calculations have been exhaustively tested and have been validated by more than ten years of use. You know you’ll get the correct result.

You can easily configure NWA Quality Analyst charts to meet a wide range of customer and regulatory requirements. Data and chart files maintain their settings from session to session until you change them again.

In addition, as market leaders in SPC/SQC software, the NWA technical staff keeps abreast of emerging trends in SPC analysis, such as new capability indices and new calculation methods. You benefit from both our years of experience and our own continuous improvement in SQC/SPC charting and analysis, a claim no spreadsheet software can make.

What operating systems does NWA Quality Analyst run on?

The current version of NWA Quality Analyst lets you install the software in your choice of operating systems: Windows (3.1 or newer), Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT. A LAN version is available and is compatible with all major PC-based LANs. Users in all supported environments can share data and graphics.

SQC Analysis

What type of SQC/SPC charts can I get?

NWA Quality Analyst provides all standard and many special-purpose SQC charts. The following 25 SPC charts are available, most at the click of a button.

Variable Control Charts

  • X-bar (Mean)
  • Range
  • X-bar & Range
  • Standard Deviation
  • X-bar & Standard Deviation
  • Individual Measurements
  • Individual & Range
  • Moving Average
  • Moving Range
  • Median
  • Median/Individual
  • Median & Range
  • Cumulative Sum (CUSUM)
  • Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA)

Process Capability Histograms

Attribute Control Charts

  • Pareto
  • p (percent defective)
  • np (number defective)
  • c (nonconformities)
  • u (nonconformities/unit)

Other Charts

  • Box & Whiskers
  • Normal Probability
  • Quantile
  • Run
  • Scatter

When I do process analysis, I find that some of my processes are not normally distributed. What options will NWA Quality Analyst give me?

NWA Quality Analyst offers you a selection of eight types of distributions for use in Process Capability reporting. You can select from among 21 different capability indices, including those specified by the AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group). When appropriate, the capability indices are automatically adjusted when non-normal distributions are selected.

I sometimes need to run a t-test or regression. Do I have to buy a separate statistics application to do this?

Quality Analyst includes a complete set of general statistics functions to support your quality control operation. They are available from one central drop-down menu. As with all Quality Analyst reports, you can control the typeface and size of the text so you can adhere to any documentation or reporting standards you might have.

Process Improvement

What if I just want to chart part of my data, such as a date range or one shift? Can I easily compare different shifts or machines?

NWA Quality Analyst provides a powerful tool for comparative analysis and precise identification of problem areas. Its unique Data Filter feature lets you specify a match or range for up to three characteristics. To chart for one shift, for example, simply enter the values to match–such as date, time, and shift. The data editor then displays only data meeting the filter criteria. Selecting complex data file subsets such as “all parts produced in August during the first two hours of night shift” or “batches made on the #2 blender with a starting viscosity above 110″ becomes easy. All charting and analysis is automatically restricted to the user-specified data. Such precision can mean immediate gains in your productivity.

Special Analytical Tools

Our customers require us to show SPC charts to demonstrate process control even though our small production runs don’t allow for extensive sampling. Can your software accommodate my needs?

You can use Short Run techniques with any of NWA Quality Analyst’s SPC charts. Once a nominal value is entered for each part, the Short Run calculations will be performed automatically when charts are created. Different variances can also be accommodated.

It has been difficult for us to routinely chart the output of our multihead fill machine. Does NWA Quality Analyst have anything that can help?

To correctly perform SPC on our multicavity moulds would require an enormous number of charts. What options do I have with NWA Quality Analyst?

NWA has long recognized the need for applications that fit the user’s specific requirements–criteria not typically met in off-the-shelf software. As a result, NWA Quality Analyst includes many special-purpose charts, and its standard SQC/SPC charts can be adapted or configured to a wide range of requirements. One such special-purpose application is Median/Individual Control (M/I) charting. It significantly reduces the number of charts required for effective monitoring of “family” processes such as multi-cavity molds or multi-head filling machines. You can combine control charts for the overall process and individual subprocesses (the individual cavities or fill heads) on a single chart, and easily discern differences between global changes (changes affecting the overall process, such as product viscosity, temperature, etc.) and individual changes (each cavity, each fill head, etc.) On M/I charts, an outlying cavity or fill head is indicated by its number for easy identification, eliminating guesswork and confusion from process improvement.

Data Handling

Can I set up automatic calculations to create new variables?

Yes. You can define calculations that use any combination of variables in the data file, constants, and mathematical operators. You can simply enter the equation in the variable definition window or use Quality Analystís built-in, point-and-click equation builder. The calculations are dynamic–as you enter new data, calculated results appear in the target cell. Quality Analyst treats calculated variables like any other data. You can include them in charts and statistical analyses and you can apply format control, specifications, limits, and so on.

We collect measurements from different production processes and store them in a plantwide database for reporting. Our quality supervisors and process engineers need to use this data for their own process improvement studies. Can NWA Quality Analyst help?

such as Oracle, Sybase, DB2 and others that support the Microsoft Open Database Connectivity standard. You can also create direct connections with popular
PC database such as Access, dBase, Paradox, and FoxPro.

Charting and Graphics

I review our quality for the past week and write a report to the quality teams. Can I take the most important SQC charts and paste them into my document?

Yes. NWA Quality Analyst creates each chart in its own Window. Using standard Windows cut-and-paste capabilities, you can paste NWA Quality Analyst graphics into word-processor or other documents to communicate quality issues easily.

I need SQC charts that I can display in customer presentations. Can I create charts that meet my needs without resorting to yet another software package?

Yes. NWA Quality Analyst gives you considerable flexibility in output appearance. You can select the fonts you want, line weight (thickness), aspect ratio, and display colours.

Network Issues

What type of Local Area Networks will NWA Quality Analyst run on?

NWA Quality Analyst is compatible with most major LANs, including Novell, Windows-based LANs (3.x, 95, or NT), or any LAN that provides remote disk access for PCs.

How is NWA Quality Analyst set up on a LAN?

NWA Quality Analyst can be purchased in 5-user LANpak licenses, where these are simultaneous users on the network. NWA Quality Analyst programs may be located on the LAN server or on individual PC workstations. Users may share a single data directory on the LAN server or access individual data directories at their PCs. Users may share a single NWA Quality Analyst configuration or have their own unique configurations. Built-in file locking gives multiple users simultaneous access to the same data. Quality Analyst’s setup wizard guides you through the installation process on the server and the individual workstations.

Year 2000 Compliance

Does Quality Analyst comply with generally accepted standards for “Year 2000″ date handling.

Yes. with Version 5.1 Release 1.3.006 (12/29/97), NWA Quality Analyst is fully compliant. Although previous releases are nearly compliant, they lack features such as configurable 2-digit year representation.

Year 2000 compliance features include:

All date manipulation functions work correctly through at least the year 2050, including sorting, data filters, and data type verification.  Both 2-digit and 4-digit years are supported, and may be mixed in the same file. Users may set a parameter that determines how 2-digit years are handled. The default setting is 45, meaning that all 2-digit years above 45 are treated as if prefixed with ’19′ and all at 45 or below are treated as if prefixed with ’20′.  The Year 2000 is correctly treated as a “leap year”.  All date formats supported by Quality Analyst are compliant, including “military” and “European” formats.

Support and User Training

It will probably take me awhile to fully explore all the features of the SPC software I buy. How do you handle technical support? Is there a charge or time limit?

A complete set of documentation is provided with the package, including a Setup and Tutorial booklet and User’s Manual.  In addition, unlimited technical support by Email , telephone (+49 69 9675 9610 ext 507) or fax (+46 31 60 43 81) is available at no charge to customers of Adept Scientific.

Not all of our potential NWA Quality Analyst users are experienced using analytical software or interpreting SQC/SPC charts. Do you offer training in these areas?

Yes. we consider use of our software to be part of a professional relationship, and we are committed to users’ successful application of it for details of upcoming Training Course, Click Here .


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